13/04/2024

Joe Joyce shut down Parker's world title hopes with a stunning KO win (Photo: Frank Warren/Twitter)

Kiwi Joseph Parker (30-3, 21 KO) fell short in his bid for another world title opportunity as he suffered his first stoppage loss at the hands of Britain’s Joe Joyce (15-0, 14 KO) in the eleventh round.

The win for Joyce puts him firmly in the position for his own title shot against Oleksandr Usyk (20-0, 13 KO) next year.

Coming into the fight Parker was on a six-fight win streak, having most recently beaten Derek Chisora (33-12, 23 KO) for a second time back in December.

After nine months of inactivity, The Kiwi stepped into the ring against the undefeated Joe Joyce who had stoppage victories in his last four fights.

With Joyce and Parker being ranked one and two respectively by the WBO, the fight was contested for the WBO’s interim heavyweight title.

With the stakes being high, the fight was always going to be a thrilling match-up.

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Parker started off strong in the first round, as he used his jab effectively and landed vicious body shots.

However, Joyce bounced back well in the second by pressing the Kiwi and landing effective jabs of his own, even cutting Parker’s left eye.

The third and fourth rounds of the fight were very competitive. In the third, Joyce had Parker hurt after a big overhand left which put the former world champion on the ropes.

The Englishman looked for the early finish but Parker was able to retaliate with an overhand right.

It had looked like the Kiwi had recovered in the fourth round, as he landed a big right hand whist fighting off the back foot, but to the shock of many, It didn’t seem to phase “The Juggernaut”.

After a fairly even fifth round, things started to take a turn for the worst for Parker. Joyce started to rip to the body, which made it easier for him to land to the head with more accuracy.

Although Parker relentlessly fired back with multiple right hands, it was clear to see that the pressure and superior physicality from Joyce was taking a toll, as Joyce opened up a bad cut on Parker’s right eye in the seventh round.

With the 30-year-old wearing down, it looked like it was only a matter of time before Joyce would land the shot to end the night and it came in the eleventh round when Joyce landed a huge left hook that sent Parker crashing to the canvas.

For the first time in his career, Parker was not able to answer the ten count, giving the Brit the victory after 1:03 of the eleventh round.

In his post-fight interview, Joyce was quick to give credit to his fallen foe.

“Joseph Parker, what a fighter and what a great fight,” he said, “It was a tough fight and praise to Joseph Parker because he did prove and gave me a tough fight.

“I hit him with everything I got, literally the kitchen sink, the handbag, everything. Body shots, I tried it all but he was still coming forward, but I managed to drop him at the end but it was hard work.”

The win for Joyce makes him the WBO’s number one ranked heavyweight and he had a message for current Unified Heavyweight Champion Oleksandr Usyk.

“Usyk, I’m very feel, let’s get it on.”

Although the defeat for Parker is a big blow to his world title aspirations, there is still a lot of time for the Kiwi who is entering his prime at the age of 30 and with former Heavyweight Champion Tyson Fury by his side, the future still looks bright for Parker.

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